Press Release – June 9, 2008
From September 2007 to March 2008, auditors from the Supreme Audit Office (SAO) performed an audit of financial resources earmarked for the Joint Regional Operation Programme (JROP) for the period from 2004 to 2007, which were spent on development projects in tourist trade and on revitalization in selected towns. The audit report points pout that Ministry for Regional Development administrated these development projects insufficiently.
"During the application process, the Ministry for Regional Development adapted indistinguishable rules for granting the subsidies. The beneficiaries were not obliged to meet conditions of the decrees or agreements. Ambiguous evaluations of the project's contributions and equivocal gains from the remedies led into a serious disbelief. One of the essential programme's objectives was entirely missing – a national information and booking system and cohesion among tourist information,“ said František Dohnal, president of the SAO.
By March 2008, the ministry had gradually released 9 variations of the programme amendments, 10 operational manuals and 10 grant scheme manuals, together with different guides for applicants and beneficiaries in each round of the application process. The adaptations included ranking new entities among the accepted recipients and final users of the grants, effecting insurances of the acquired property, criterion adaptations, and accepting rises of allowable expenses. The grant recipients as well as the auditors could be hardly acquainted with all the rules.
"The ministry should set explicit rules for the projects in the next programming period 2007–2013 and thus create a clear evaluation concept that would imply a comprehensive formulation of the desired merits and actual qualities. Gains should be validated in relation to the granted amounts,“ said Dohnal.
The auditing operation was included into the 2007 Audit Plan of the SAO under No. 07/23. Marie Hošková, Member of the SAO Board, controlled the operation and drew up the audit report as well.
CR – Supreme Audit Office